A roundup of the main stories in Romania today.
Toll Romania. Romania's
president Klaus Iohannis today holds new meeting to discuss the management of
the Covid-19 pandemic with prime minister Ludovic Orban and other cabinet
members. Meanwhile, more people infected with the novel coronavirus have died,
taking the death toll to 858. The number of confirmed cases passes 14,100. Some
5,800 people have recovered. Among the Romanians living abroad, more than 2,400
are confirmed to have caught the virus, most of them in Italy and Spain, while
96 have died, mostly in the UK.
world. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases passes 3.7 million worldwide, while the
death toll nears 260,000, and 1.25 million people have recovered, according to
measurements by ArcGIS and Worldometer. The United States is the worst hit
country, with over 2,300 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death
toll to 71,022, and the highest number of confirmed cases, at over 1.2 million.
The UK, with over 29,000 deaths is now the worst hit country in Europe,
followed by Italy, Spain and France. Elsewhere, high schools in Hubei, the
Chinese province that was the epicentre of the pandemic, have reopened for
final-year students. In South Korea, which in February was the second worst hit
country in the world after China, employees went back to work in offices, and
museums and libraries have reopened.
Balkans. President Klaus Iohannis is today taking part in a video conference of
the EU and Western Balkan leaders discussing common challenges. The European
Commission earlier announced financial support for the citizens of the Western
Balkans of over 3.3 billion euros from the European Union and the European
Investment Bank. This package is intended to cover some of the most immediate
needs relating to healthcare and humanitarian assistance caused by the Covid-19
pandemic and contribute to economic and social recovery.
The Romanian prime minister Ludovic Orban today attended the departure of a
convoy of 20 trucks full of medical equipment as part of aid provided by
Romania to the Republic of Moldova, a neighbouring state with a majority
Romanian speaking population, to help it fight the Covid-19 epidemic. Last
week, the government in Bucharest decided to grant Moldova humanitarian aid
worth 16.5 million lei in the form of medical equipment and medicines. Romania
has also sent a team of 52 doctors and nurses who will be working in hospitals
in Moldova treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus.
Motion. The Social Democratic Party, the biggest party in opposition in Romania, on Wednesday filed a simple no-confidence motion against the finance minister of the Liberal cabinet, Florin Citu asking that he should be sacked immediately. The Social Democratic Party alleges, among others, that the website created by the finance ministry for small and medium sized enterprises who apply for loans has only been accessed by a single company. We recall that the website in question crashed soon after it was launched but was later relaunched and is now working.
sales. Retail sales, which are considered a good indicator of the dynamics of
private consumption, grew in Romania in March by 5% compared with February, and
by 9.4% in the first three months of the year compared with last year,
according to preliminary statistical data published on Wednesday by the
National Institute for Statistics. The highest increase in March was recorded
by food products, with 12.3%. Sales of car fuel in specialised shops dropped by
8.3% and those of non-food products by 1.6%. The measurements conducted by the
Institute for Statistics reflect the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and of the
measures taken by the authorities after the declaration of the state of
emergency beginning on 16th of March. (CM)